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Still vibrant basses plowed through the air in the dark room, dimly illuminated by the light show. Both were on automatic, the floor was untidy but devoid of people, not a single guest or bartender was in sight. “Secure the logs.” A young officer by the name of Sara Disono spurted to the door, connected the tablet computer wireless with the door.

Meanwhile Richard marched onward with the rest of the armed men and women around him. With hand signals he ordered teams of two to check on the other back rooms. He remained in front of the door he had gone through with Lucy.

“Log has been wiped clean, sir.” Sara joined him. Grinding his teeth Richard nodded and opened the door to the room he had arrested Lucy in.

The cupboard stood wide open, the shelves behind it were still stocked with bottles, scotch, gin, vintage wines, vodka, tequila, even absinthe was to be found.

His eyes fell on the couch, the cushioning had been disturbed, his eyes told him that a few more of the injection devices had been hidden beneath his butt. A wall panel was removed, although normally locked for engineering purposes. A small crawl space stretched to above and below decks. “Fuck.”

Sara joined him gazing into the crawl space. “They got away.” Was her only remark.

“I’m beginning to think that they are everywhere. This panel needs an engineering or security clearing to be opened.” Richard casuallty pointed at the panel, physically it showed no signs of tampering, but a software inspection would show whether it was hacked or opened by legitimate sources, even if the ID of the legitimate source had been wiped from the system.

“I demand to speak to whoever is in charge of this operation!” A disembodied voice rang from the outside after the music had stopped playing. “Stay here and take shots of everything, especially those depressions In the cushioning.” Sara saluted, immediately taking pictures, starting with said cushioning.

“That would be me,” Richard emerged from the back room, “Lieutenant Richard Phlock, Security. You are?”

“Marie Navratil. Operator of this club.” She looked at each one of Richards colleagues, inspecting them head to toe. “By what right have you invaded this space?”

“Ship security, are you related to Lucille Navratil, otherwise known as Lucy?” Feeling uneasy Richard had an overwhelming desire to arrest Marie. “My sister.” Grudge in her voice told Richard to relax. “What did the idiot do?”

“She tried to give me a chip, a chip like the ones that had played a major role in the diplomatic disaster with the Kismet a while back.”

Sighing deeply Marie relaxed her composure, dropped her shoulders a little. “I should’ve known when she broke down when the news of earth’s destruction was broadcast. She feels dislocated, disconnected. I couldn’t console her, she must’ve turned elsewhere.” She pulled a chair from a nearby table, sat down.

“So you are unaware that she had several injection devices hidden in that backroom? That the maintenance shaft has been opened, the computerlogs of the door were wiped?” Baffled Marie stared back at Richard.

Instead of replying she got up from her seat, straightened her dress. “I know of none of these things, but I guess I’m under arrest?”

One of the officers stepped forward, producing handcuffs from her belt. “Indeed, under the charge of aiding in the spread of potentially dangerous technology, the suspicion of direct involvement, you are hereby under arrest. Everything you say can and will be used against you. Any questions?” Silently Marie shook her head.

Richard stayed with her while the others continued to search the bar, which was easier without the deafening music and in bright light.

After a few minutes she sighed again, asking for a chair. Sitting again she nervously fidgeted with her fingers.

“Why so nervous?” Richard observed both her and his colleagues.

“I have no idea of what my idiot sister did, but, well,” she became silent.

Chuckling Richard turned fully towards her. “The booze?”

“Yes.” Bowing her head she too had to smile. “I didn’t smuggle it all aboard. People brought it and left it here. To be shared with others.”

Nodding Richard turned around. “It will be confiscated, and it will be used against you.”

“I know. Still I’m nervous about it.” If this was another idiot country, evidence for the crime of distributing alcohol would be illegal if obtained in search for evidence of another crime. “Sorry for that. But we are not an idiocracy, we found the booze, you will be charged for the possession and distribution of alcohol. Unless you want to name the people who brought it to you?”

Gently the woman shook her head. “I guess I’ll just shut up now.”

 

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